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banner Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Is Tiger's dominance good for the game?
Too much Tiger?
Tiger reigned supreme at St Andrews
A resounding victory at The Open has made Tiger Woods a living legend, but with no other contenders even close to the young champion, has golf lost some of its excitement?

With The Open safely under his belt, Woods has proved he has the mental strength as well as the natural ability.

The youngest-ever world number one has joined the greats - Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Ben Hogan, as the only players to win all four majors, but while Nicklaus took 19 attempts, Tiger has managed it in only 15.

Woods' phenomenal success on the golf course has helped break down barriers in golf and the Californian has become a role model to a new generation of enthusiasts.

However, as his lead at St Andrews never looked in doubt from the start, and last month's victory at the US Open was by a staggering 15 strokes, it seems the Tiger has become unstoppable.

With Woods so far ahead of his nearest rival, is golf losing out?

Surely having one player win all the time by such a large margin is no fun at all? What do you think?

Is Tiger's dominance good for the game?

HAVE YOUR SAY


Is he good for the game? I believe without question. He has raised the awareness level of golf to new heights. The game is "cool" with kids. He is pushing the rest of the best to be better. Young kids watching Tiger now set their goals to be as good as he is. Whether they will attain that is not the question. They will aim higher and be the better for it.
David Smart, Scotland

Tiger is the best player that golf has ever seen. There is no doubt about this now. But the most amazing thing is that he is a great person. Unlike so many athletes in the world today, he has no skeletons in his closet. He is an upstanding and caring human being. Bravo to you, Tiger. Your Mom and Dad must be so proud.
Kathy, USA

Tiger's dominance is definitely good for golf and for sport in particular. Fellow professionals are forced to improve to keep up with him, resulting in higher standards and greater interests. Many more people are taking up golf and at younger ages too. Golf has gone from an "old man's sport" to one of the most popular sports in the world. Whereas in the past, only the rich played it, now almost everyone can play it as costs are decreasing rapidly. His behaviour and manners are also a role model for the young. Without him, there would not be such interest in golf.
Peter Loke, Singapore


It is obvious that Tiger Woods is not the best golfer out there in the eyes of sceptics and player haters but the scary thing is that he is not an all round golfer yet.
  Beji, USA
I think anyone who believes that Tiger Woods is bad for the game just does not understand golf at all. To see someone "master" an incredibly technical game like golf is almost beyond belief. Rarely in the world of professional sport will someone be able to take the sport to a new level. Tiger has. He is obviously incredibly talented but also is said to practice more than nearly every other player on the circuit.
John Murphy, England

I find one or two of the comments regarding Tiger's performance at St. Andrew's perplexing. The very nature of golf demands consistency at the highest level and under the greatest pressure and this is where Woods truly excels. The reason for his dominance at the Open was because he invariably drove the ball long and straight - not into bushes on short par fours, as Ernie Els did - and hit his greens in regulation - unlike the unfortunate David Duval. I don't accept that his performance was "unexceptional" - surely it is just that we have come to expect play of a standard way above all others from him? I hope that those close behind him in world golf can improve to reach a point when they too can be confident of playing 18 holes without a significant error - but somehow I doubt anyone around now has the mental strength or, indeed, the swing to do so.
Rob, UK

With sunshine and little wind, St. Andrews was there for the taking. It was not surprising that Tiger beat Faldo's record, what was surprising was that the rest of the field did not get close at all. Tiger was not too good, the rest were too mediocre. Couples, Els and others played some fantastic golf but not when it mattered and they could not sustain their challenges. That, for me, was the most disappointing aspect. Tiger is the best player in the world. He was awesome at pebble beach but he should not have been that far ahead in The Open. He was not that exceptional at all, everyone else was just distinctly unexceptional. Players can and will raise their games in the future. They must for golf's sake. Jim, England

Tiger is amazing, but he doesn't win everything he enters like Duval did two years ago, or like Monty does over here. St Andrews was perfect for his game. He had the length to either go over trouble, or lay up short and hit longer second shots into huge greens. That said, he is the best player since Seve and maybe of them all, but it's too early to tell.
Oliver Lewin, UK

Tiger's dominance will not hurt the game of golf. However, I was take aback on Sunday to see Tiger Woods "stretching" the rules when he used his caddy to "spot" for him during a putt. I can't recall the hole but there was little if any doubt that as Tiger's caddy supposedly attended the flag his feet conveniently became the target for Tiger's putt. Is this not against the rules. Why does a golfer as dominant as Tiger Woods stoop to such tactics?
S. Derek Shelly, Canada

Tiger Woods may spur golf on towards another level, certainly he is, when on his game in a class of one. I think the question is what will others do to match him? He is clearly superior in his physical mental approach to the game. The time has come for the ruling bodies of golf to put a halt to the ball technology and perhaps the drivers as well. Golf by history has been evolutionary, but has reached a revolutionary state with technology currently. Lengthening courses is not the answer, no more than purportedly blaming Tiger's dominance for making golf uninteresting. Technology roll back will preserve the test provided by The Old Course and other courses becoming "Outdated". The players evolve on each other's achievements, the playing field has hardly evolved from the linksland. Comments from a Scot such as Mr. Rooney sadden me. The golf ball has become too easy to control, it is the problem. Mr Nicklaus tee to green hits the ball farther and straighter at 60, than when younger. Don't blame Tiger for evolving from where Mr. Nicklaus took the game. The other players need to evolve and join Mr. Woods on the classics that have tested all champions.
Bill Vostinak, USA


I find him one of the most unexciting golfers to watch simply because he makes virtually no mistakes
  John Rooney, Scotland
Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the best player in the world but, unlike your regular pundits, Alliss, Hay and Brown, I find him one of the most unexciting golfers to watch simply because he makes virtually no mistakes. It's golf by numbers. The only way to tame the Tiger is to level the playing field and this can't be done by holding major tournaments on a pitch and putt course like St Andrews. The decision to hold the first Open of the millennium there was the right one of course but let's not make that mistake again. Lee Westwood raised many eyebrows when he said before the tournament that St Andrews wouldn't feature in his top 200 golf courses in the world. Anyone who has ever played it, if able to put the history of the place to one side, would have to agree.
John Rooney, Scotland

I'd like to mention that Tiger's dominance is only while he is on his game. To say that Tiger is not good for the game is ludicrous. When Nicklaus was tearing up the field nobody questioned whether it was good for the game. Nicklaus won 18 majors and nobody complained, they simply labelled him the best that ever played. Tiger has given the sport recognition among minorities and has brought on a golf boom here in the US. Tiger's dominance is as refreshing to see as his smiling face. Unfortunately for the rest of the field they simply must raise their game in order to compete. It sounds as if the rest of the field and the sportswriters have thrown in the towel. Tiger Woods will prove to all of his critics that he is the best that has played the game and for other golfers to win an event that he is in can say "I have beaten the best".
John Lobo, USA

I think that Tiger Woods' presence has been wonderfully beneficial to golf & the sportsworld in general. He is the only truly global superstar around at present; only Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Mohammed Ali, Pele and Jesse Owens have previously experienced such exalted status in their careers. Tiger has broadened the appeal of golf to a much wider audience as so many non-sports people will instantly be aware of him. He is a link between the Eastern & Western world due to the background of his parents and he has broken down the racial barriers which have hindered the development of golf. He also conducts himself so well both on and off the course & is very mature & well-rounded for one so young. For me, he is already one of the all-time great sportsmen.
Simon Porch, United Kingdom


Tiger has taken golf to another level and demonstrated what is now required to win majors
  Trev, UK
There is no doubt that Tiger's success is raising the profile of golf world-wide, which can only be good for the game. He is probably the most gifted player ever and is a role model to everyone. However, sport is meant to be competitive entertainment and if Tiger goes on like he is then the excitement will go out of the game, with tournaments turning into Tiger circuses where you only go along to see just how brilliant he is. Look at the excitement generated by the Ryder Cup since 1985 when Europe started to compete with the US. If the US won every time, nobody would care. I think Tiger will go on to win many more majors and will probably pass Nicklaus' record, but I hope people are right when they say that others will raise their game. If players like Garcia and Els can improve and give Tiger a good fight, then we can all enjoy the excitement as well as the brilliant play in future tournaments.
Steven Kerr, UK

I think Tiger is suspect in less than perfect conditions. When the wind gets up on a links course then this acts as a great leveller. For sure, Tiger is a great player but this dominance thing, I'm not so sure. I'm hoping the other pros have been saying that they cannot touch him to pile pressure on the guy in the future.
Rob, UK


It is up to the rest to reach up and start playing at the new standard
  Alex Banks, Wales
It makes little difference whether Woods plays on a "pitch and putt" St. Andrews, the deep rough of Pebble Beach or the wide open spaces of Augusta. He can (and does) win under any conditions, any time against any competition. Watch carefully, people- in 30 years kids will be asking whether you saw Tiger play in his prime. He's up there with Pele and Ali in iconic stature.
Phil Cottrell, Canada

Tiger has taken golf to another level and demonstrated what is now required to win majors. The way he has gone about constructing his game and his approach is an example to every player coming to, or currently in the game.
Trev, UK

Its very good for the game. Its like Michael Schumacher in Formula 1, Manchester United in Football (particularly last year), Pete Sampras in Tennis. They are ranked number 1 in the world for their superior qualities, both mentally and physically. It is up to the rest to reach up and start playing at the new standard. It can be done - Stephen Hendry dominated snooker in the early nineties, but he was overcome.
Alex Banks, Wales


Tiger has come into the game with a desire to achieve everything
  Brendan, Ireland
Tiger's dominance simply proves he is the best player in golf right now, and it is up to the others and future golfers to raise their standards to match, and even surpass those he has set. Woods is quite simply astonishing, but his roots have brought golf back to the masses, and more and more kids are saying those magic marketing words "I'm Tiger Woods" and believing them. The majors may lose the drama of a playoff with one man extending his lead over his competitors, but the real competition is against the course, and watching Tiger break records, and shoot lower scores still remains a thrilling spectacle.
Bill Rice, UK

Tiger can't help being a natural at the game. With the aid of his coach he has become even tougher to catch let alone beat. There always has to be a number 1 - it just means that the rest have to work harder and raise their game to catch him. Keep it up Tiger!
Simon Bailey, UK


Never before has golf been so popular with the younger generation
  Stefano Di Silvio, England
Tiger's dominance will simply raise the standard of everyone else's golf, as they strive to catch him. More and more pros are working out and practising harder - Tiger may still dominate, but the overall standard of golf on the pro circuits will, by necessity, improve. His dominance will not last forever, but we should enjoy it while it does, and be thankful that we are lucky enough to be watching the greatest golfer that has ever lived, playing at the peak of his powers.
Andrew Robinson, Malta

Tiger has come into the game with a desire to achieve everything. He has put in the years of hard practice and persistently worked on improving and fine tuning every part of his game. Surely it is now up to every other golfer to follow his lead, Tiger is not destroying golf and it is wrong to say that. Tiger is playing his best, others must set out to be better.
Brendan, Ireland

I think that the mere fact that he is so dominant will make his rivals improve their game.
Pablo Lara, USA

Woods' dominance of this previously ageing sport is good for the game. Never before has golf been so popular with the younger generation. Far more people now tune into televised golf and also play the game regularly. This is down to the growing interest in the game, most of which is generated by a certain Mr. Woods.
Stefano Di Silvio, England


Tiger is responsible for giving new life, new style, new course management, and new perspectives to golf
  Gurdev Mangat, USA
Dominance in any sport means only one thing - that sport becomes boring. Wimbledon - one big yawn. F1 - 40 winks. Golf - wake me up when it's finished. Scottish football - where can we go for our summer holidays? English football - definitely not Manchester!
Mac, Scotland

Ali was great for boxing. Tiger is even better for golf. Everyone wants to play now!
Glenn Lewman, USA

Sport has always advanced in a leap-frog fashion with periods of dominance simply raising the threshold and providing impetus. So, tell me this, when is excellence not good for a sport?
Michael, USA

Without doubt, Tiger is responsible for giving new life, new style, new course management, and new perspectives to golf. He should be credited with not only being a great sportsman, with impeccable behaviour on and off the field, but also being an unquestionable role model for the young. After all, it did not come easy. He works hard at it with a strict regime of mind and body exercises. Live on, Tiger!
Gurdev Mangat, USA


For the game as a whole such a superb player can only be good
  Richard, Canada
To some extent it can be argued that Tiger's dominance is not good for the game. I have realised for example that I am glued to the TV anytime Tiger is on but in other tournaments where he is absent my interest is not as intense. The great thing about Tiger is that I keep on watching him even if his lead is insurmountable or even if it is clear that he is out of contention. I used to relate to Nick Faldo the same way - and mind you, Faldo can never be accused of being charismatic.
Isaac Klogo, Canada

For the game as a whole such a superb player can only be good. However, for mere mortals relegated to watching professional golf through US TV channels, Golf has apparently become a game played by a single player! Were Langer, Faldo and co at the Open? It would have been good to see them!
Richard, Canada

I never knew much about golf until Tiger brought me into it. Watching his perfect play just teaches me what a true golfer role model is about. Now I know 90% more than I knew before about golf. I think it has certainly increased the "share" of golf among all the sports. In the Chinese saying: "Becoming champion is the easy part, keeping it is the real challenge." I am sure a new star will arise in two years or so to match him.
Chao Yang Soon, UK/Malaysia

Woods has merely set a new standard. He has shown us how this game can be played. Isn't it wonderful to have someone like him come along to move things to a whole new level? He shows us that golf is a really exciting game. For the rest of the field it means they have a lot of work to do.
C. K. Low, Malaysia

He inspires non-playing golfers like myself to take up the sport.
L Kai, Australia


Tiger has taken golf to another level and demonstrated what is now required to win Majors
  Trev, UK
Tiger has taken golf to another level and demonstrated what is now required to win Majors. The way he has gone about constructing his game and his approach is an example to every player coming to, or currently in the game.
Trev, UK

Tiger's dominance is brilliant for golf. In regions like ours where the game didn't have much of a following before his emergence, there has now risen a cadre of enthusiasts and everyone is saving up for a set of clubs. Moreover, there will still be competition, he may leave the field a long way behind from time to time, but I don't see this happening every time he plays. Besides, just watch how his competitors are going to raise their games to challenge, that has always being the way of sport.
Philip Uwumarogie, Nigeria

It's great to see one person dominate the sport and yet make it look so easy. Looking back, it appears that the rest of the golfers were languishing on their past glory and now suddenly they have to wake up and actually work hard for their wins. It can be demoralising for the rest of the participants but looking at people like Ernie Els, David Duval, Vijay Singh and Bjorn, I have no doubt that these guys will actually rise to the occasion and the others will have to think hard about retiring.
Vasu Subbiah, California/USA

Of course it's good for the game. It should spur and encourage the others to try to beat him - survival of the fittest I challenge the rest of the world to try and defeat him, rather than trying to "Tiger-proof" their courses. Golf is not only a game about beating your opponents, but beating yourself and the course. I would say "Good for the Game!"
Evan Ngow, Malaysia

The young man is great for sport, no question. However, it was sad hearing commentators on television hoping others would shoot 66 and insinuating a wish that Woods would play bad - so that he would not win. Now that is not good for sport at all. There is talk of 'taming the Tiger' and 'levelling the playing field' ever since Tiger won a major. I believe comments like these are the new phenomenon in sport and certainly cannot be good for children watching the game. Are we sure we are not teaching our children to do all they can, at whatever cost, to stop those around them who happens to be good at something?


It's obvious that we appreciate mediocrity over genius
  George McAlpine, UK
It is obvious that we appreciate mediocrity over genius. This is sad. However, the world knows that whoever is blessed cannot be cursed! Tiger - may your reign be long and fruitful!
George McAlpine, UK

Boring... as a Scot living abroad I have always looked forward to the Open and the excitement it (normally) brings. This year was just a bore, nice weather and the result decided from day one. Even the players are giving up when Tiger has a lead !! Maybe Tiger should give the rest of the field some shots!! Not worth getting up in the middle of the night to watch....
Bob McCutcheon, New Zealand

Up until 1997. I knew nothing about golf, then came the phenomenon, Tiger Woods. This year I was following the proceedings blow by blow at St. Andrews. It is amazing that the front headlines of leading South African papers were all Tiger-ridden following his remarkable grand slam acquisition. This can only be a plus for golf. The Tiger brand is a product and golf can only benefit. We all love heroes and legends.
Vincent, South Africa

Tiger has proven that black people can be world champions in other sports besides football and baseball. He has done a great thing to make the world aware of the potential of black people to succeed in a society that has denied them access to professional sports. Golf and tennis have been monumental accomplishments for black people. And, Tiger, has set a new challenge forth to all who love the integrity of the 'sport' they play. I say good for Tiger Woods!
Dave Adams, USA

Tiger is so dominant that the excitement has gone from the championships. I used to enjoy settling down to watch the players battle down the final stretch, the only stretch now is Tiger's lead.
Stephen Hatcher, USA

Are you kidding me? Tiger is the greatest thing that ever happened to golf. Firstly, he has helped the image of golf in terms of making it not just a sport for the majority but a noble sport that can be enjoyed by all. Secondly, he is not just winning but breaking records, this to me is just so much fun to watch. I pity the other players but they shouldn't worry, hard work will definitely let them beat Tiger soon ...
Francis O. Blay, United States

Tiger's dominance is great for the game, but not bound to last. More and more is being learned about the physiology and mechanics of the golf swing. Children are being raised learning these mechanics. The gap will narrow and we will see more and more breathtaking records being shattered. Thanks to Tiger for giving us a peak into the future.
Jay Kreusch, United States

Yes, at least in this country. Young children in droves are trying out golf. In our area, golf courses are providing tee times for kids and providing used clubs so poor children can take part. Tiger is a hero to these children and his behaviour is a welcome change. He is a benefit far beyond his sport.
Elizabeth Young, USA

It's a great moment for such a young man to reach this level. Tiger Woods is an example for people all over the world . One day, Michael Jordan said, "I have only one idol - Tiger Woods."
Jean Lokelito, France

I have never seen such interest in golf ever since Tiger Woods came on the scene. Children, women, minorities - people who couldn't care less about golf are all picking up golf clubs now. He has only helped.
Diane Ormrod, UK/USA

Yes, Tiger's dominance is good for the game as it pushes the other players to bring their game to a new level. He has worked very hard to achieve this greatness and sooner or later one of the younger generation of players will catch up with him. He is by no means a superman. We will just have to wait and see.
Adeel Azam, USA


In the short term, yes, it will help to break down barriers, in a similar way to the Williams sisters at Wimbledon
  Malcolm Edkins, UK
In the short term, yes, it will help to break down barriers, in a similar way to the Williams sisters at Wimbledon. However, if Tiger were to dominate for the next year or two, interest in watching golf's major competitions might well diminish.
Malcolm Edkins, UK

I think that Tiger's dominance is great for the game of golf. He has set the standard, now it is up to the other golfers to try and catch him.
Rus, UK

I think that Tiger is just the first of many great young players who are emerging. While he may dominate now, it is likely that younger golfers around the world will match his feats in the years to come. Let's enjoy Tiger until that inevitably occurs.
Mike Gratti, USA

Tiger Woods is the best thing that could have happened to golf. All players know now that they have to work much harder both physically and mentally in order to compete with Tiger. Tiger might be dominating the sport now but his dominance is only making his competitors hungry to beat him. All players are going to work extra hard to beat him and surely one or a couple of them are going to give him a run for his money.
Zain Mohomed, South Africa

Woods' win will focus the attention of more minorities on the potential of the game, and imbue them with the attributes of determination and fair play .
WR Roberts, USA


His dominance is good for the game, just as Arnie's and Jack's play elevated the game to the next level
  Jack Spitz, USA
Basketball without Michael Jordan is just that - a sport without a star. Since his retirement, the sport has suffered a downfall in popularity. Tennis has also languished in the USA. No longer McEnroe/Connor rivalry, or a Chris Evert/Martina rivalry. Golf is now our sport with our star in Tiger. The rivalry in golf is between Tiger and the ball. He need not compete against others, only himself. The opportunities for our youth are immense. As a role model, kids are motivated to get off their chairs in front of TV/computers, and get on the golf course. We need more Tigers and, in fact, we need to be thankful for being on the earth the same time he is, so that we can enjoy what he, and no one else, can do.
Liz, USA

His dominance is good for the game, just as Arnie's and Jack's play elevated the game to the next level. His physical skills are great, but it is his mental toughness and desire to win that sets him apart. He will dominate for many years to come, but all these kids that have become interested in golf, one will surely rise up to be the next Tiger, and give him a run for his money. In the meantime, let's just go along for the ride and enjoy perfection in an imperfect sport!
Jack Spitz, USA

People marvel at seeing the greatest there has ever been. The real downside is the economic impact on the tournaments Tiger chooses not to play. Already viewers are cut dramatically if Tiger is not in the field. He cannot stay young forever, and his priorities will clearly shift over time, so that will be an interesting transition to see. Is Tiger good for the game? Absolutely. Would people become bored if he won every week? Eventually, but I'd enjoy it at first.
Bill Wallace, USA


I am truly delighted that Tiger has won The Open in such a convincing fashion - it can only do the sport good in the long term
  Phillip Robinson, Canada
I think it's wonderful that such a young man has been able to dominate the sport of golf. The only people who might not be happy are of course the promoters and backers who manipulate people with outlandish stories about imagined rivalries and feuds with only one thought in mind and it sure as hell isn't in the interest of this sport (golf) or any other for that matter. So I say keep going Tiger because the only thing the money boys can talk about with regard to you, is your excellent play and character. But we all know that it doesn't generate money for the powers that be.
Jimmy Flynn, India

I am truly delighted that Tiger has won The Open in such a convincing fashion. It can only do the sport good in the long term - even though it may not seem so at the moment. The standards are being set at a higher level and young players around the world will come through eventually. These players may even come from poor and humble surroundings.
Phillip Robinson, Canada

There is no doubt that Tiger's dominance is great for the sport, as more people are watching, learning and becoming fans! However, I'm not sure this early dominance is good for him, I mean just how long can one maintain such high standards? Even if he continues to win tournaments and even Majors, what if he gets two under instead of the incredible 15 and eight shots? Will he be able to live up to the expectations of thousands at the course and millions around the world every single time he steps on a golf course? Will he, and can he handle that much pressure? Should he have to? I have seen Michael Jordan score 30 points and folks leave disappointed..."What, no real highlights?" Good luck Tiger, you may yet need it!!
Hayden Coppin, Barbados


I think his dominance is a blessing to the game of golf
  Percy Amamasi, United States
In the past I spent about 5 seconds on TV channels showing golf tournaments. Now I watch golf on TV regularly, as long as Tiger Woods is participating. Also, I now understand the game. I think his dominance is a blessing to the game of golf.
Percy Amamasi, United States

Sports which have no dominant figure tend to languish. Golf between Watson and Woods was a game in search of a focus. American Basketball without Michael Jordan suffers some of the same identity crisis. For whatever reason, dominant figures raise the level of play and the level of attention for their sport. "Arnie's Army" launched golf into its modern popularity greatly aided by Nicolaus' dominance. Tiger will be the best thing to happen to golf in the years of his dominance. Tiger is the embodiment of excellence, something all sports relish.
James Freeman, United States

Let's not rush it. I'm wowed by Tiger's performance so far, but at 24, there's so much that could happen, good or bad. I'd rather just enjoy his performance one win at a time.
ManChiji, USA


There will probably be more golf clubs and accessories sold this coming week than since the Ryder Cup at Valderamma
  Don, England
Woods is by far head and shoulders above anyone on tour at present but I do not believe its bad for the sport. Did you see the crowds, there will probably be more golf clubs and accessories sold this coming week than since the Ryder Cup at Valderamma. Manchester United were, and maybe still are, the best team in the leagues but it has done more good for the sport than harm. Competition never hurts anyone and it certainly encourages others to strive to be better.
Don, England

Tiger is a phenomenon. He may just be the greatest golfer ever. We should appreciate this and enjoy it. He won't win everything. He'll have the odd loss of form. I agree the Open lacked excitement at the end, but on balance Tiger has to be a positive influence for golf. To add to this, he is a dignified and well mannered sportsman. An example to any playing golf or any other sport come to that.
Ted Howl, UK


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The Open at St.Andrews
20th - 23rd July
See also:

11 Jul 00 |  Open Talk
Will Monty ever win a Major?
11 Jul 00 |  Photo Galleries
Contenders for the Claret jug
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